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A systematic review by Chinese authors provides an appraisal of clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of COVID-19 patients with Chinese herbal medicine (CHM). The review summarises the recommended CHMs for COVID-19, differentiated by stages and syndrome types. Forty-five guidelines were identified, of which 93% suggested specific CHM formulae for treating COVID-19 patients, and 78% assigned patients diagnosed with COVID-19 to four stages (early, development, critical and recovery). In the early stages of treatment, Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San and Lianhua Qingwen Capsule were the most recommended medicinals for promoting expulsion of pathogens. Lianhua Qingwen Granules were observed to shorten the duration of fever, fatigue and cough, raise recovery and clinical cure rates, shorten time to symptom recovery, and improve the appearance of the chest under CT imaging. Qing Fei Pai Du Tang was recommended in several guidelines as the main treatment for mild to severe COVID-19. Its positive therapeutic effects were reflected in its ability to normalise parameters measured in patients’ bloodwork. After three days of treatment, levels of lymphocytes, liver enzymes aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and clotting marker D-dimer had returned to normal levels. After six days of treatment, C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) had returned to normal. After nine days, over 90% of the patients' laboratory indexes became normal. CT imaging results showed improvement after six days of treatment. The authors conclude that the evidence for the positive effect of CHM on COVID-19 patients is promising and this is reflected in the available clinical guidelines.

Clinical Practice Guidelines and Experts' Consensuses for Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Patients with Chinese Herbal Medicine: A Systematic Review. Chin J Integr Med. 2020 Oct;26(10):786-793.